Tuesday, 31 December 2013

from beach to farm

There was lots of fun at the beach at Mangawhai:

Santa had lots of helpers:

Christmas Eve Georgia held auditions for the position of Christmas Day Santa.  Even little Aiden was keen to try out.

Michael got the job:

 Boxing Day is always an energetic day for the young in this family.  A shade cloth under a tree suits me better these days.

Little Aiden just loved every minute of it all, anything the bigger kids can do, he will be in there giving it a go.

 Now it's time for farm fun.

Friday, 27 December 2013

FSO Holiday Traditions

I can only post one photo (due to my lack of technical savvy when it comes to my travelli ng companion) so I've had to think about this. A traditional Christmas for me has always been about family and children.  What the family eats isn't as important as the games we play.  The games change depending on where we are and the age of the children. 

But there is one tradition that hasn't changed since I was a child, the adults do the preparing and cooking and the children do the dishes.  I can clearly remember drying tbe dishes after Christmas dinner, laughing with my brothers and sisters and us all competing to be the champion tea towel flicker.  My children have had their turn, now it's my grandchildren who laugh and clown around in the kitchen.

Want to learn about holiday traditions in other towns around the world?  Just go here http://mytownshootout.blogspot.co.nz/

Friday, 20 December 2013

FSO - Colours of the Season

Ahh, I'm so glad this topic comes in summer for me because I just love the colours of early summer. Even the weeds growing beside the road are at their best (or some might say worst) in summer.

The grass may not be so lush and green a bit later in summer if there isn't much rain but right now even the cows look happy.

The ocean water temperature is warm at this time of year and the beach beckons.  The surf lifesaving boat and flags make a bold statement against the wonderful blue of sky and sea.

Little children in bright bathers can even be distracted from the thought of Santa.

I had taken eight photos of summer flowers for this topic but now that I am officially all grown up (I retired today!) I am showing some restraint.  These are native flax flowers which are in full blown and adorn nearly every country roadside at the moment.

I'm looking forward to doing the Spotlights this week, I think this is a fab topic!  Why not have a look at the contributions of the FSO team , see what seasonal colours there are elsewhere in the world.

Monday, 16 December 2013

It must be summer

This afternoon there's no doubt summer is here.   It's horribly hot and humid, an hour or so ago the clouds darkened and thunder rumbled, then the storm went elsewhere.  

A sure sign summer is here - the first passionfruit flower has appeared:

The twins have had their birthday.   Imagine, they were born 15 summers ago, where did that time go?

Saturday I went to the beach. 

and enjoyed the sights of summer:

There's no doubt, summer really is here.

Friday, 13 December 2013

FSO - Lights

The prompt this week is: what lights up your town or home?    Made me realize I don't really do lights much.  I've been so busy enjoying my work farewells, there's been no energy for special trips to gather some shots for this week.  When I look through my archives I found a few shots of the effect of lights rather than of the lights.

 Light from the candles illuminating the birthday girl:

Stage lights doing their thing:

Catwalk lights adding some dramatic effect:

 Some sort of magic flourescent effect:

Wait, wait, I found some lights:

 I know the rest of the FSO participants will have some fab light shots.  You can check them out here.  Or, better still, join us.   

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Old girl

Parked outside the hairdressers when I was having my last haircut as a working person:

 I might be old and retiring at the end of next week but this old girl proves we can keep on going long after we loose our looks. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

FSO - Rush Hour

How do you like our new logo at Friday My Town Shoot Out?  Ginger and Mersad have been busy weaving their own sort of magic to give us a face lift.  Hop over here to check it out.

It's not very often I barely have to think about what to post for FSO. The first words of the prompt were "A congested highway or waiting for the cows to move off the road," and my mind springs immediately to the day not long ago when there had been an accident out on the highway and the detour was very much the long way to town (both in distance and in time). 

Livestock on the road is a much more common sight for me.  This morning I was quite surprised to see the young bulls out on the road with no farmer in sight.  They were in no hurry to move, enjoying their new found freedom.  After I got past them, I chased them back in the direction from whence they had escaped, my good deed for the day.

One rainy day it was sheep being moved along the road. 

Here on the farm, rush hour is the time before and after milking when the cows are moving to and from the milking shed.   This is taken from my front deck.

 I was at Barge Park a while back when there was a rush of young runners competing in the inter-school cross country.  They were past me and away before I could life the camera. 

We are looking to give FSO a new lease of life.  Don't be shy if you'd like to take part, you only need a home town and a camera.  I know I felt intimidated and visited for months before I dared contribute but there's no need to be shy.  You will find some wonderful supportive people there and also some amazing photographers who are happy to share their knowledge.  I can't begin to tell you how much I've learnt since I've been participating.

Monday, 2 December 2013

To catch a rabbit

I find the gentle clucking of a mother hen very soothing.  I've learnt to run outside brandishing a big stick when their clucking turns to alarm.  I'm learning to interpret their various clucks.  Becoming something of a cluck expert I am.  I wonder how many of those are around.  

One morning shortly after the hens had been let out of their coop (where I lock them for their own good at night) I noticed a 'different' cluck.  Little mother hen, Midnight, was definitely talking to her chicks in a slightly concerned fashion but she wasn't quite alarmed. 

I looked out the front door to see what was causing her concern, examined the sky, no hawk to be seen even in the distance, no wild cat (there has been a beautiful little black wild cat spotted from time to time and this has been blamed for a missing chick), no dogs, nothing.  Then I looked where she was looking

and after watching for a little saw something move, then jump on to an old tyre.

Midnight stayed on alert till it hopped away.  I don't think she knew quite what to make of it, but she definitely knew it was something different in her world. 

But this afternoon it was back, around the back of the house this time.  It stayed there long enough for Georgia to see it. 

So we had to launch the Catch the Bunny offensive.  

Now that's bound to work, isn't it?

Friday, 29 November 2013

FSO - People at Work

Even at a distance these two farmers don't appear to be working very hard.  But inspecting the turnip crop to check the strike rate is important work. 

Farmers in a local parade, not exactly at work but showing how they and their dogs can control those sheep even in difficult situation. 

Little people dream about the work they will do when they are big people:


I imagine many little people dream about this guy's job:

Mussel boat crewmen:

I'm looking forward to visiting the FSO team to find the Spotlight photos this week.  They will be here.

Monday, 25 November 2013

The break in

I woke to the sound of someone breaking into my house. Luckily before I could feel alarmed, two little girls clad in their pjs burst into my bedroom laughing and chattering.  Through my half asleep fog I could make out random words - tent, dog, pancakes.  I think the story was they had slept in the tent, the pup had woken them early so they had walked to my place to make pancakes.  

They made me coffee and mixed the pancake batter while I got dressed.  We had nice pancakes for breakfast, then as quickly as they had appeared, they were gone again, off through the paddock, walking home. 

If they are going to make a habit of breaking into houses, they will have to learn how to be a bit less conspicuous.

The bull is messing with my chooks

I don't know who got the biggest fright, the chooks or the bull.

It was early evening and the chooks had gone into the coop to settle down for the night.  The bull decided the coop looked like something good to have a rub against.  He startled the chooks who squarked and flapped and erupted from the coop right under his nose.  I don't think he' a very bright bull, when I went outside to see what all the noise was about, he was standing there looking puzzled, then looked at me as if I were the culprit. 

His mate had scarpered off in consternation but was keeping a keen eye on me.

Young bulls make entertaining neighbours!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Picnic at the creek

A lovely warm,. sunny Saturday and what better way to spend it than with the family at the creek?  Nearly 15 year old teenagers could probably think of lots.  It's not easy enjoying yourself while maintaining your teenage dignity.

Even if there's no-one of importance (eg friends or boys) around to see you, you have to practise looking good.

You even have to trust a parent with your phone for a few minutes.  A split second after I took this, the phone was in the drink.  Luckily, Heather re-acted quickly and fished it out before damage was done.  I wish I'd had the camera focused on Krystal's face!

While the ten year olds are noisily enjoying themselves:

the phone once again distracts the teenager.   (I will try to keep this image of her wearing my hat out of my mind next time I wear it!) 

She then distracts herself with my camera (and her dad's boots).

Pointing it up and down at random:

But eventually the sounds of fun from the young ones draws her back to the water and she deigns to join them.

And when the real fun starts, she totally forgets she is a cool teenager.

 Roll on summer!